Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Choosing to be Korean

Update: I am trying to get the audio to work on my site. You can still follow the link to ODEO and listen there.

Today I interviewed Marcus, or Masuro, about his decision to be a Korean citizen. It is a subject I am very curious about because being Canadian is important to me; it's a emotional issue. For Marcus, however, it seems to be the practical choice.

This is not my first time playing with audioblogging but I am a novice - one manifestation of my lack of experience is the low volume of the audio. Crank it up. The conversation is just under eleven minutes.

To listen to the audio as an MP3, visit Odeo.


Nathan B. said...

I particularly enjoyed this recording, Brian. It was interesting to hear your voice again!

GI Korea said...

Brian, that was actually a pretty good interview. No matter how much I like Korea, I couldn't imagine giving up my US citizenship though. Does Canada offer a dual citizenship status at all?

kwandongbrian said...

GI Korea,
I don't think adults can get dual-citizenship. My son has dual-citizenship until he is 18.

skindleshanks said...

Canada does allow dual citizenship--basically, it's not a separate status--they just have no restriction on the aquisition or retention of other nationalities. The problem for Korea is that they do not allow dual citizenship, and require that one renounce all other citizenships in order to aquire Korean citizenship.

I am a dual citizen (by birth, US and Canadian), and my father just received his Canadian citizenship a few years ago after living well over half his life as a landed immigrant. He still retains his american citizenship.

I've seriously considered giving up my American citizenship, mainly because I didn't want to be restricted by American laws, but I've found that holding foreign citizenships generally doesn't exempt one from most American laws, even if you don't live in Canada.
I remember one Canadian business executive who was arrested and tried for treason (facing a possible life imprisonment) because he had sold medical equipment to Cuba while living in Canada. The ironic thing is that if he had avoided dealing with Cuba, he would have been technically in violation of Canadian law, which threatens prosecution to Canadian subsidiaries of foreign countries that are found to be adhering to embargoes against other countries, when Canada is not party to the sanctions. I think he eventually got off, but he was under house arrest for several years.

My dad told me that if I ever have any intention of living in the US, I'd better start filing tax returns from when I turned 18. It's things like this that make me one of the least patriotic Americans on the planet. (No doubt the last statement will probably put me on some CIA list somewhere!)

I really can't agree very much with Masuro's reasons for receiving Korean citizenship, since things are becoming much, much more comfortable and convenient for foreign spouses in Korea, and the attitudes of 95% of Koreans won't change because of a piece of paper. Foreign spouses can now even vote in local elections after a period of residence.
However, the diversification of Korea can't be a bad thing for society.

kwandongbrian said...


Regarding your last paragraph (dealing with Masuro's reasons for taking Korean citizenship),I don't actually know when he took Korean citizenship but things were different here not too long ago. Again, depending on when he changed his citizenship, he probably couldn't have known how things would "becom[e] much, much more comfortable and convenient for foreign spouses in Korea..."

Juggy said...

I have it from a fairly reliable source that Korea will be changing it's position on dual citizenship.

Personally, I'd wait beofre giving one up.